This was different. This column has spent a lot of time exhorting retailers to follow PayPoint’s rules by the book to avoid being scammed. But high-profile retailer Lesley Brown, of Frankmarsh Stores in Barnstaple, likes to do things by the book.

So when a scruffy guy in an old post office van and with no ID, no hand-held terminal, arrived to pick up a ‘Collect Plus’ parcel, she refused to hand it over. Where was the usual guy from Yodel, PP’s partner in this parcel scheme?

She rang PP and, after several calls, the exchange got somewhat heated and Lesley threatened to cancel her contract for Collect Plus. She was astounded to be told that she had to give three months’ notice and, if she didn’t comply, her PP terminal would be removed.

Lesley wrote a strong letter.

I spoke to PayPoint and have been sent this reply from Collect+: “We were sorry to hear of Mrs Brown’s experience and are grateful to her for taking the security of our parcels as her priority. The security of deliveries is of paramount concern to us.

“Her experience was clearly not acceptable and we can only apologise. We fully understand her desire to cancel the Collect+ service and, although we are very sorry to lose a loyal and long-standing Collect+ agent, PayPoint has agreed to discontinue the service immediately rather than insist on the three-month notice period. We are, of course, very pleased that she will continue as a valued PayPoint agent.”

The reply also said that Yodel has carried out a full investigation and has made improvements to its procedures to ensure that changes to delivery and collection arrangements are communicated properly in future. It has also taken appropriate action with the individuals involved.

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